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Chapter 10/09

HIST 202 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10/09: Authoritarianism, Recusancy

Course Code
HIST 202
Catherine Desbarats

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10-09 Fyson, The Conquered and the Conqueror: The Mutual Adaptation of the
Canadiens and the British in Quebec, 1759-1775
period btwn conquest and Quebec act is often overlooked, or either portrayed as jovialist
or miserabilist
seems as if QC historians have largely lost interest in the period
subject is both heavily politicized and feels overwrought
howev, there is actually much to b done thru empirical research and
look at period not as time of absolutes, but of mutual adaptation
previous historians hav portrayed only two groups--british and canadiens--when
these groups had many factions/internal classes
during period, can/brit population were forced into mutual adaptation by the catholic
question, political praxis, and the law
would seem that prot supremacy applied, but not so tru in practice
catholics didn’t lose positions, despite being forbidden by new laws to
hold them
laws have been construed to b against all catholics, when really only
against convicted “popish recusants”
thus law was v vague, left much room for mutual adaptation
prot pop was so small, was unrealistic to fill all positions w them
restrictions interpreted as narrowly as possible
tho some positions were reserved for prots
caths had valuable local knowledge, less to learn
caths not excluded from juries either
caths were sometimes excluded from positions bc most did not live in
cities, but this was de-facto, no intentional
political adaptation occurred on both brit and canadien sides
french-style authoritarianism remained intact @ the macro level
also used french poli symbols (same buildings, divided land based on
preexisting cath parishes)
everyday language of administration remained french, for reasons of
de facto govt policy of bilingualism in documents/record-keeping
had both british and canadien interpreters
military administration, later court administration, in countryside was
elections of local bailiffs shows canadien adaptation to brit syst of
decentralized govt
tho elections/democracy was french inst
british concepts of collective petitions and grand juries were used by
canadiens and canadiens/brits together
tho collective petitions could also b source of conflict
ever-shifting legal environment necessitated mutual adaptation
historians like to focus on instances of conflict
in reality, canadiens had little adapting to do and french systems were
often the ones actually in use
canadiens made up majority of both plaintiffs and defendants--certainly
did not boycott courts
canadiens quickly adapted to juries, used them to their advantage,
b/came savvy jurors
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